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September 16, 1999

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA:

Is there any documentation or other professional opinions or evidence to substantiate the idea that type 2 diabetes may be brought on by acute physical trauma? To the best of my knowledge no one else in my family has had diabetes, but I was involved in an auto accident less than 18 months before I could no longer ignore symptoms that were later diagnosed as diabetes.

Answer:

I have never read anything to support physical trauma being a cause of Type 2 diabetes. The only way I can think of that a car accident would cause diabetes would be a situation where you experienced abdominal trauma and had to have your pancreas removed, which would make you a more like a type 1, with no insulin producing capability.

When people say, “Nobody in my family had diabetes,” my answer is usually: “Somebody had to be first!” It is also possible that some relatives in previous generations had diabetes that was not diagnosed. So rather than worry about how you got it, it is time to work on controlling it so that it doesn’t become a problem for you in the future.

VV